Friday, February 22, 2013

MOCK TRIAL

Micheal: "I'm not gonna turn this 'mock trial' into some kind of...."
Gob: "You were going to say 'mockery', weren't you?"
Micheal: "I was in trouble like three words into that."
--excerpt from "Arrested Development"




Between the time that I stopped going to church and when I acknowledged my atheism, I went to great lengths just to avoid religion in general. Living so close to BYU meant that I became somewhat of a hermit. Practically everyone around me boasted such confidence in their faith that to profess doubt would be social suicide on par with admitting sympathies for Communism or eating babies (or disliking Disney movies). So I didn't go out much during that time.

One of the primary things which caused me to embrace my doubts concerning religion was my fascination with the debate between Evolution and Creationism. As I did more research I found the Creationism side to be so vacuous and full of holes that it gave me the push to research more religious topics, which eventually allowed me to admit my atheism. To give you some idea of what I'm talking about, I present to you a "documentary" with about as much scientific clout as "Best in Show", and was especially helpful for me in this regard: "Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed".

The film was created by Ben Stein, whose views on religion and science are about as monotone as his signature voice ("Bueller...Bueller...Bueller"). Mr Stein, an economist by profession, really shows his scientific ignorance as he paints the picture that the scientific community is prejudiced against anyone who questions "Darwinism" (a nonsensical word in and of itself), and more to the point, that those who push for teaching Intelligent Design are shunned and kicked out of academia unjustly.

Where Mr Stein really loses me is his comparison of evolution and population eugenics. The first is an explanation of change over time and the second is the process of manually eliminating undesirable genetic traits through genocide. Through this false analogy, he insinuates that Hitler was compelled to commit the holocaust because of evolution, and that such horrific acts will always be the inevitable logical end of "Darwinism". This is no different than the fallacious argument that all forms of atheism invariably lead to Nihilism.

Well, there are so many things just completely bass-ackwards with Stein's "theories" that I don't think I could do it justice (or in the space provided). So, instead I will link a series of videos which pretty thoroughly debunk everything Stein either says or implies.

But first the film itself:


Now, a scientist's critique of the movie:


Here is a more in depth review (some language), part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


One more review (more language), part 1:


Part 2:


Part 3:


Part 4:


Part 5:


BONUS MATERIAL:

Here is Dr. Ken Miller (a practicing catholic, by the way) completely discrediting Intelligent Design as a scientific theory in front of a religious audience:


And finally, Ben Stein (Jewish) on the Christian Broadcast Network pimping his movie while bashing capitalistic greed:

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